Iron Chefs of Eden (October - November) Pecans and Squash

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Iron Chefs of Eden (October - November) Pecans and Squash

Antipova Antipova
Welcome to our second autumnal edition of Iron Chefs of Eden!

This is a simple, just-for-fun way to challenge your cooking skills, or show off a classic recipe you love a lot.

I'll present you with two foods, and you are encouraged to use one or both of the ingredients in a way you've never used them before. Maybe you've made pecan pie ever year, but you've never made a pecan-based stuffing for baked squash? Or a pecan paste to fill cookies with? Branch out! Or simply share your classic favorite.

Everyone has strong associations between November and food---and a lot of that is for good reason! Thanksgiving features foods which are freshly harvested, and gives us a time to enjoy eating with family and friends. But, rather than offer you the basic, "well-known" November ingredients, let's work with pecans and squash. It should be fun to use these together or separately. Feel free to use any kind of squash your brought in from the garden, or that your grocery store stocks. We love variety!

Post your recipe if you want, and give us a step-by-step, or just post pictures! Most of all---have fun cooking!
10/19/2011
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Kkay Kkay
Ooh, this one could be interesting!
10/19/2011
MeliPixie MeliPixie
Give me a few days, I'm gonna start writing! ^_^
10/20/2011
Valentinka Valentinka
Oh, that's an awesome choice of ingredients! And luckily I tried out one zucchini recipe just yesterday! It's Russian traditional oladji (oladushki) with zucchini.

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 cup of yogurt (in original recipe that would be kefir, but I'm not sure if it's possible to find it abroad)
1 cup of flour
1/2 bulb of garlic (optional)
finely chopped fresh herbs (dill, for instance)
salt
pepper

Directions:

1) Peel zucchini and remove the seeds.
2) In a large bowl, grate zucchini on the small holes of a grater-box.
3) Add the eggs, pressed garlic, herbs, yogurt - and mix well.
4) Add flour and mix again thoroughly.
5) Season with salt and pepper.
6) In a non-stick frying pan or a skillet, heat the vegetable oil (it should be enough to cover the skillet).
7) Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture and carefully tip it into the frying pan. Don’t crowd your future oladji. I recommend to flatten them with a spatula a bit to let them cook evenly.
Here's the picture I've found on the net:

8) Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they're nicely browned. Adjust the heat to the lower setting if they're browned too soon.
Another pic:

9) Remove these nice little things on a plate layered with a paper towel to get rid of any excess oil.
10) Best served warm with sour cream or some other dips.
10/20/2011
SilverIsis SilverIsis


With all these from My garden, I should come up with a recipe or 3, lol!
10/20/2011
Heartthrob Heartthrob
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Welcome to our second autumnal edition of Iron Chefs of Eden!

This is a simple, just-for-fun way to challenge your cooking skills, or show off a classic recipe you love a lot.

I'll present you with two foods, and you are ...
Hmmm, I think my boyfriend and I will get together in the kitchen for some cooking!
10/20/2011
Tuesday Tuesday
Quote:
Originally posted by SilverIsis


With all these from My garden, I should come up with a recipe or 3, lol!
Awesome. You have a big garden like I do.
10/20/2011
Antipova Antipova
Wow, I'm glad everyone's excited for the Oct/Nov Iron Chefs

I'm mulling ideas myself---the oladji look excellent and I'll try them out this weekend, since I love traditional recipes so much.

And what a promising box of butternuts, SilverIsis!

If anyone's curious about how Iron Chefs can go, check out some of our inspiring entries from the Sept/Oct Iron chefs.

And, just so everyone knows---you're never "late" to these threads! They span two months because ingredients come in season at different times for different regions. And even then, if you get your hands on one of the ingredients even half a year later, you should still dive in! We're never going to turn down inspiration
10/21/2011
SilverIsis SilverIsis
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuesday
Awesome. You have a big garden like I do.
Thanks. The butternut and my peaches did real well this year, despite one of the peach trees being taken down by a storm. The tomatoes and herbs were ok, though did not produce as much as I would have liked. Unfortunately the peppers and the eggplants did not fair so well for some reason.
10/21/2011
Valentinka Valentinka
Quote:
Originally posted by SilverIsis


With all these from My garden, I should come up with a recipe or 3, lol!
Oh, they look awesome, SilverIsis! My Grandma has a garden with lots of things there, but I've never seen a butternut squash before. I even had to google it
10/21/2011
M121212 M121212
Quote:
Originally posted by SilverIsis


With all these from My garden, I should come up with a recipe or 3, lol!
Beautiful harvest ^.^
10/21/2011
*Huxley* *Huxley*
Too easy, I own a culinary classroom
We do this recipe a lot in our local foods class, but its freakin' amazing and simple.

Butternut Squash Soup With Honey-Pecan Garnish
6 lbs butternut squash

3 tbsps butter

4 slices bacon, rendered dry and chopped

2 large yellow or sweet onions chopped

64 ozs chicken broth

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (optional)

Large pinch freshly grated nutmeg

3 tbsps toasted and finely chopped pecans

1 tbsp honey

Whole leaves Italian parsley
---------------------- ---------------------- ---------
1. Preheat oven to 375. Halve the squash, remove seeds, and place pieces cut side down on an oiled cookie pan (with sides). Bake until squash can be pricked easily, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes. Scrape out pulp and reserve. Discard skins.

2. In a soup pot over medium heat melt 2 tbsps butter. Add onion and cook until onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add squash and broth and simmer until squash falls apart, about 30 minutes. Add bacon. Cool for 20 minutes.

3. In a blender, puree soup in batches until very smooth. If using orange juice, add it now plus nutmeg. For a more lively bacon flavor, add 1-2 tbsps bacon fat. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. If soup is too think add more broth.

4. Make compound butter by mashing together remaining 1 tbsp of butter, pecans and honey. Season with sea salt and pepper. Roll butter in plastic wrap into a cylindrical shape 1 inch in diameter. Store in refrigerator.

5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Cut 1/4 inch slices of pecan butter and float one in center of each bowl. Garnish further with a leaf of parsley.
---------------------- ---------------------- ---------

Is your mouth watering yet? if not it should- this is under 50 calories!
10/29/2011
Missmarc Missmarc
I been making some really good caramelized butternut squash. I will try taking some picture of it next week when I make them again, and post the recipe. It's really easy and delicious
10/30/2011
Ivy Wilde Ivy Wilde
This all sounds and looks delicious! Makes me wish I were a better cook.
11/05/2011
oldman oldman
Quote:
Originally posted by Valentinka
Oh, that's an awesome choice of ingredients! And luckily I tried out one zucchini recipe just yesterday! It's Russian traditional oladji (oladushki) with zucchini.

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 cup of yogurt ...
OK--a variation--skip the garlic and herbs and pepper--squeeze the grated zucchini to amke sure there is not too much liquid--add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of sugar--the rest is the same--serve with sour cream, applesauce or both. That is how the Mrs. family (here since the late 1890's) does it--yummy pie!!!

For the savory variety, they add some grated onion.

Use Greek or Icelandic yogurt--thicker, tastier and more nutricious.
11/15/2011
oldman oldman
Quote:
Originally posted by Valentinka
Oh, that's an awesome choice of ingredients! And luckily I tried out one zucchini recipe just yesterday! It's Russian traditional oladji (oladushki) with zucchini.

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 cup of yogurt ...
OK--a variation--skip the garlic and herbs and pepper--squeeze the grated zucchini to amke sure there is not too much liquid--add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of sugar--the rest is the same--serve with sour cream, applesauce or both. That is how the Mrs. family (here since the late 1890's) does it--yummy pie!!!

For the savory variety, they add some grated onion.

Use Greek or Icelandic yogurt--thicker, tastier and more nutricious.
11/15/2011
oldman oldman
Quote:
Originally posted by Ivy Wilde
This all sounds and looks delicious! Makes me wish I were a better cook.
You can be--just follow instruction and no short cuts until you are advanced and familiar with the recipe. Baked goods have very little wiggle room, but things like soups, stews, seasonings for meats and veggies, salads all have alot of play in them.
11/15/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
OK, I'm now caught up with Iron Chef submissions.

I decided to make squash raviolis with hot coppa (an Italian ham) and pecans. For the raviolis, I harvested two gold nugget squashes from my back yard and roasted them until soft. I then added salt, pepper, brown sugar, and allspice to make the ravioli filling. I have to admit, I cheated a bit on the raviolis inasmuch as I didn't made the pasta, but rather used wonton wrappers. Once the raviolis were done, I sauteed some onions and garlic in olive oil, then later added the pecan pieces, coppa, and fresh parsley, chives, oregano, and lovage.



All in all, it was a very good meal. The raviolis themselves were great and much stronger of a taste than store-bought ones because I really filled the raviolis, which gave a lot of squash taste in each bite. The hot coppa really was a nice contrast with the sweet squash, and I was surprised with just how much the pecans added. I figured they'd add a crunch, but have their taste overwhelmed by the other tastes. In reality, they stood up amazingly well and added another layer of complexity to the dish that really brought it from a good dish to a very good one.
11/21/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Vaccinium
OK, I'm now caught up with Iron Chef submissions.

I decided to make squash raviolis with hot coppa (an Italian ham) and pecans. For the raviolis, I harvested two gold nugget squashes from my back yard and roasted them until soft. I then ...
Oh my gosh. I might have to do this myself.
11/21/2011
Total posts: 19
Unique posters: 13